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“Ay-O: Hong Hong Hong” on View Through May 5, 2024, at M+

Ay-O, ‘Hong Hong Hong,’ 1999. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of Ann Tranqui and Hossein Zaimi, 2023. Acquisition in porgress. ⒸAy-O. Image courtesy of the artist.

M+ presents “Ay-O: Hong Hong Hong,” a solo exhibition by Ay-O (Takao Iijima, b. 1931) through May 5. Known as the “Rainbow Artist,” Ay-O has been creating rainbow-patterned paintings, prints, sculptures, and installations since the early 1960s, becoming a leading figure in postwar Japanese contemporary art.

Born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1931, the artist traveled to New York City in 1958, where he participated in the Fluxus movement. Observing and participating in the new movements in the Japanese and American art worlds after World War II, the artist began to showcase the rainbow pattern in the 1960s, which soon became his artistic signature. His rainbow pattern embodies the anti-elitist Fluxus philosophy that art should be accessible to a wider range of people.

The exhibition showcases Ay-O’s work from the 1950s to the 2000s. With this exhibition, M+ inaugurates the “Pao-Watari Exhibition Series.” The Pao-Watari Exhibition Series will feature important figures and moments in Asian visual culture and art history.

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